Features, Spotlight

The essential items for a first-time touring staycation

Get kitted out ahead of next season

By William Coleman

It will be the new year before you know it, which means the new caravan season will be here in a blink of an eye. As we enter the 2021 season a lot of people will be choosing to stay home for their holidays, so let’s look at what the new holidaymakers will need.

We must admit that even we were taken aback by just how many newcomers have flocked to sites and dealerships across the country in search of their next staycation. The ongoing pandemic is likely to make people avoid flying, so the caravan industry is going to see another boom very soon.

This boom will bring even more waves of new blood to the touring world who may not fully know what is needed to ensure they have a pleasant and stress-free trip.


When stocking the kitchenette you’ll need to think about the utensils and kit before your tea and breakfast foods. A lack of cooking kit will leave you hungry and somewhat irritated.

You need to look at your mobile kitchen the same way you would your one at home. What do you need to cook the meals you want?

Pots and pans- This is an obvious one but these are the things that often get forgotten. Any good camping accessory shop will have a touring set that has removable handles and packs down into a small carry bag. We use a set from Prima Leisure which has been around the world and is still good as new. It’s also worth packing a cullender.

Cutlery- We all know you need knives and forks but don’t overlook a chopping board and good kitchen knife. I would suggest a trip to IKEA to get a cooking set which includes a plastic spatula, serving spoon, tongs and a ladle. This will set you back a mere £5.

Thing to eat off- Dinner plates, bowls and cups. Always go plastic as it saves on weight and breakages. These can be found anywhere but we suggest Tesco or Sainsbury’s as they will not have that “camping tax” cost attached.

Boiling water- A portable kettle, gas or electric will do but you will save money with a kettle you boil on the hob. A steel kettle will use up gas and take longer to boil than an electric one. This one is down to preference but we always carry one of each just in case.

Outdoor kit

These items may be as important as anything else you pack. We’ve overlooked a few key outdoor items that you’ll need if you want to spend time outside the van relaxing and we’ve been left short on tour.

When you first start out you may not splash out on the larger expenditures like air awnings, but you can still enjoy the outside with a few small ticket items.

Reclining camping chairs- These alone can change your entire trip. Having nothing to sit on outside is a tad unpleasant, especially when the sun is shining. You can spend quite a lot of money on these items so make sure you do your research before spending hundreds of pounds. A good chair for £30-£50 will do the job, so there is no need to spend £100+ per chair.

Collapsible picnic table- All leisure vehicles come with a dining table which can be packed away, but they can sometimes only stand up using the fittings inside the van, rendering them useless outside of the van. Always check to see what type of table your van of choice comes with. Buying a separate table that can collapse and fold away will double up as more surface space inside the van and is perfect for dining alfresco.

Water and sanitary tools

They say cleanliness is next to godliness, so one must always have the right sanitary items when touring.

The aqua roll- This item will give you a running supply of fresh water to the van, so make sure this is one of the first items you buy and be sure to fill this up as soon as you’re pitched up. You will also need a water pump and hose to attach the carrier to your van’s water inlet.

Wastewater carrier- Dealing with ‘grey waste’ is never a task you rush to but it is an essential one. To take care of the wastewater you’ll need a water carrier to make the trip to the disposal area quick and clean.

Toilet chemicals- Chemical for the toilet is an absolute essential for washroom hygiene, so do not forget it. The right chemicals will help break down the waste and remove any odours, something you’ll need when inside the smaller space a caravan provides.